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House might try to shut out Gamrat, Courser

Former Michigan Representatives Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat.
From Courser/Gamrat websites

State elections officials say there’s nothing in the law that says former Representatives Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat can’t run for their old seats in the upcoming special election.

Both filed after Gamrat was expelled by a two-thirds vote of the state House, and Courser quit as he was about to be removed. The two tea party lawmakers were embroiled in a sex-and-cover-up scandal.

“It was a very significant margin, bipartisan support, 91 votes that said they were unfit, that she was unfit to serve, and I don’t think there’s been a change of opinion,” said Republican Speaker Kevin Cotter.

Gamrat and Courser, who both face crowded primaries, say it should be up to voters to decide whether they’re fit to serve.

Cotter says House leaders are now looking at whether they can refuse to seat either of them if one or both are reelected.

“At this point, we’re continuing to kind of study the situation, want to make sure we know all of the intricacies and the legalities surrounding this, and what options are available,” Cotter said, “so we’re going to do our homework first and then those decisions are going to be made at some point in the future."

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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